In a recent announcement that caused uproar among many rugby fans, Six Nations and SANZAAR announced that they would be setting up their own elite competition set to take place every two years.
There will only be ten teams in it, with Tier 2 teams only having the chance to get in through promotion and relegation.
This is disappointing news for up-and-coming rugby nations, as it means it will be much harder for them to break into the top echelons of the game. It also means the old giants of the game are protected, and they will be guaranteed entry to the elite competition for at least the next four years until the relegation system kicks in.
What is the New Global International Rugby Tournament?
The new elite rugby competition will be known as the World League and will feature the big guns of the game. These include England, Scotland, Ireland, Wales, France, Italy, South Africa, New Zealand, Australia, and Argentina. According to a report from Planet Rugby, two other nations will be invited to the division, with experts expecting them to be Japan and Fiji.
There are another 104 rugby-playing nations around the world, but now their chances of growing and establishing themselves among the best in the world are slimmer than ever before. Indeed, this move has been described as the death of Tier 2 rugby. It is a kick in the teeth to teams like Georgia who, as reported by Sky Sports, recently recorded stunning wins over Italy and Wales. Now, they will only be able to face the Tier 1 nations again from 2030 onwards.
Tier 2 Teams Could Exploit Underdog Status and Fight Back
With most of the rugby world disappointed about this proposed elite league, it could be the perfect time for Tier 2 sides to exploit their underdog status and create a competition that more people want to watch. Instead of seeing the same 12 sides compete every time in the Tier 1 league, viewers of Tier 2 games could enjoy a much more varied and competitive competition. Of course, for this to take off, it would need some serious promotion. This is where the entertainment industry could help.
One of the best ways to promote a new Tier 2 league could be to create a documentary on Netflix or another streaming service to get widespread attention. After that, branching out into the gaming industry would be a wise move. If there was a console game based on the new competition, it would help more people learn about it. There could be titles on other platforms as well, to appeal to different types of players. For instance, Megaways casino games often promote mass franchises, with the Rick and Morty Megaways slot being a prime example. The game helps market the show and makes more people aware of it.
For a Tier 2 league to get off the ground quickly, having its name in a vast number of places like this would be the way forward. With the right marketing, it may even be able to attract new rugby fans and help more people fall in love with the sport.
Rather than see the news of this new elite league as a nail in the coffin of Tier 2 rugby sides, the underdogs should take this opportunity to fight back. In the modern age of entertainment, it could be easy to promote a new alternative rugby competition to the masses.